- "NBA 2K13" will let gamers pit the London gold medalists against the 1992 Dream Team
- Michael Jordan: "I think it's going to start debates. I don't think it's going to end any"
- The video game will be released October 2 in North America and October 5 internationally
It's been arguably the biggest sports-debate question of the past month: Who would win in a head-to-head matchup between the original 1992 Olympic basketball "Dream Team" and the 2012 edition that just won gold in London?
Larry, Magic and Michael, or Kobe, KD and LeBron?
We'll never know, right? Maybe not. 2K Sports is ready to let the fans decide by including both superstar teams in their upcoming basketball video game, "NBA 2K13." The fantasy matchup, in which gamers can match both teams in a virtual showdown for the ages, is the result of a partnership with USA Basketball, the organization that represents the U.S. in world basketball events.
The public debate over which team is better started before the London games when the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant said he thought he and his teammates could beat the 1992 squad.
"Well, just from a basketball standpoint, they obviously have a lot more size than we do," Bryant told reporters after a pre-Olympics practice. "We have just a bunch of young racehorses, guys that are eager to compete. It'd be a tough one, but I think we'd pull it out."
"In one game, we can beat them. No question about it."
The resulting back-and-forth between members from both teams sparked an idea from "NBA 2K13" executive producer Jay-Z. Why not let the fans interact, play the game, and decide who is the better team?
"In 'NBA 2K13,' we're giving fans the opportunity to play as two of the best teams ever assembled in sporting history, literally putting the debate right into their hands," Jay-Z said in a statement.
The original Dream Team is considered one of the most dynamic sports teams ever assembled. Eleven Hall of Fame players, including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, David Robinson, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley, came together to crush international opponents and win Olympic gold in Barcelona, Spain.
This year's Olympic team featured many likely future Hall of Famers, including Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
Not surprisingly, the famously competitive Jordan believes his team would triumph over the 2012 bunch. In an interview this week, he said playing both teams in "NBA 2K13" is likely to start more arguments than finish them.
"When you stack all the stats, which is in some ways how the game is going to be viewed and discussed, our stats are going to be a lot better than their stats," Jordan said in a conference call with reporters.
"I think it's going to start debates. I don't think it's going to end any. The only way it would end is for us to lace 'em back up and play them."
Jordan thinks "NBA 2K13" gamers will get a good appreciation of the different styles of play over the two eras. The third-leading scorer in NBA history also offered some advice to fans playing as the Dream Team in the new video game.
"If you want to score inside, you have to throw it to Charles (Barkley) or Karl (Malone)," Jordan said. "If you want to throw it to the perimeter, Larry (Bird) or Chris Mullin can set up.
"Myself, I'm pretty sure I can score in any environment."
Jordan also believes the inclusion of the all-star teams will give international gamers a chance to experience American-style hoops firsthand.
"With the USA Basketball portion (of "NBA 2K13"), you are going to have a lot of Europeans being able to play the Dream Team fantasy. ... I think that's going to be fun."
"NBA 2K13" will be released October 2 in North America and October 5 internationally. It will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows PC, PSP and Wii. A Wii U version also will be released during the holiday season.